Writing Fantasy || Characters 1 – Races

You’ve already chosen a setting for your story and built a world. Now you can add your characters to it! This is my favourite part so far. Your characters will depend largely on what type of world you have and what events you’re thinking of writing. Let us say you have a fantasy world similar to Earth but with beings familiar to most readers of that genre. You would possibly include Elves, Dwarves, Humans, Halflings and one or two unique evil species of your own.


Faun Knight Soul Calibur creation by Benjamin T. Collier
Faun Knight by Benjamin T. Collier in Soul Calibur custom creator.


If you haven’t done so yet, now would be a good time to create a Pinterest board for your main characters. You can move them to individual boards when you have names for them. We’ll be looking at fantasy names next time. For now, you can simply compile a separate board for each race. Pinterest Fantasy || Characters board.

Fantasy Races   #FantasyRaces

We create the visual story as we read so your readers will envision the story better if they’ve already seen what these species look like. If you introduce new species remember to include a detailed description of the basic appearance of your character. Fantasy readers have good imaginations, but give them a little help; height, hair, skin, eyes, mouth, ears, gait, clothing and such. You could run your description by a friend and ask them to draw what you described. Does it look like you envision your character to look like? What descriptives may you need to add?

How will your races survive in the climate you created for your world? Do they need to live underground because their skin burns easily and their world has two suns? Will they live in trees because the world has flooded from a melting ice age? Have they evolved from the original species because of some catastrophe and now look completely different? Perhaps a Dwarf race is now hairless due to the loss of a specific ingredient that has been lost from their diet. Changing a few basic features will make your characters unique but you’ll need to know why they look different from LOTR races which readers will naturally gravitate towards envisioning. We’ll talk more about backstories later. For now focus on who they are and their general appearance.


Remember that you need to be careful of copyright when including a race which someone else has created. It’s safer to begin writing fantasy with races which are common knowledge such as the ones I’ve mentioned, or connect with a fantasy coach. Any race from folklore is a pretty safe bet too. If you decide to create a new race, chances are your creations will end up on the internet somewhere and others will use them. Are you ok with that? If not, you’ll need to copyright them.

Be sure to add a watermark to any original pictures and always link them to your website. Readers like to know the author behind the story.

Till next time, I hope you are blessed.



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